This year’s MLS Expansion Draft will be significantly less stressful than past iterations for the Seattle Sounders. According to the rules of FC Cincinnati’s draft, which were released on Friday, teams that lost a player last year won’t be exposed to this one.
Since 2014, each round of expansion has involved two incoming clubs selecting players from the eligible player list, therefore, for the purpose of the Expansion Draft, LAFC and FC Cincinnati are considered a single round of expansion. While the two expansion clubs are selecting players in successive years, for competitive consistency, current MLS teams that had players selected by LAFC in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft will be exempt from the 2018 MLS Expansion Draft, however, LAFC players will be eligible for selection by FC Cincinnati.
The Sounders, of course, lost Tyler Miller in last year’s draft and have lost at least one player in four of the five expansion drafts in which they’ve participated.
As a result of having a more limited pool of players from which to pick, FC Cincinnati will be compensated with additional allocation money. The full list of eligible players will be released on Dec. 10 and the draft will take place on Dec. 11.
Other notable offseason dates:
- Nov. 26: Sounders must announce whose options they’ve exercised and to whom they’ve extended “bonafide offers.”
- Dec. 9: Half-day trade window
- Dec. 11: Free agency begins following Expansion Draft
- Dec. 12: Waiver Draft
- Dec. 14: Re-Entry Draft, Stage 1
- Dec. 20: Re-Entry Draft, Stage 2
- Jan. 11: SuperDraft